Game within a Game

They are the 800 lb. gorilla in the room.  Everyone knows they are there, but no one wants to talk about them.  And for good cause.  For some reason, the Duke lacrosse team has been Virginia’s Achilles heel for the past 6 years.

Whether or not we have played them.

It’s been a strenuous stretch for Dom Starsia and the Wahoos dating back to 2004.  This was the last time the Cavaliers beat the Blue Devils 13-4.  The only problem is, we were 4-6 at the time and Duke was even worse. Since then we have been 0-7 and outside of the 2007 game, they haven’t even been close.

The only year we haven’t lost to Duke was in 2006.  Back in January, we put together our Top Ten Moments of the last ten years.  At number 1 was the 2006 lacrosse team when they went undefeated and won a national championship.  That same year was the “scandal” involving three Duke players.  Duke University promptly shut down their lacrosse program even though they were cruising to a #1 ranking.  The biggest show down of the 2000s never got to take place.

Last years renewal of this ACC rivalry saw #1 UVa ride in to Durham with a 11-0 record and limp out with a 15-10 defeat (look eerily similar???).  Teams used that game as a template to beat the Cavs, and Cornell executed it to a tee in the NCAA semis last year.

How do we break the streak?

  1. Quick start.  In UVa’s last two games, they have jumped out to a 6-0 and 5-0 lead, respectively.  That early advantage aided them in…
  2. Avoid the comeback.  In both of UVa’s last two games, we have only won by a combined 3 points.  Maryland came storming back in the 3rd and 4th quarters and UNC used a low scoring game to wiggle their way to within 2 goals.
  3. Midfield. Midfield. Midfield.  The defense from the middies has been outstanding.  It’s the offensive that has been lacking.  Without opening up the old wounds of us talking about the Brattons and their play being directly linked to how well we do, Carrol has joined the milk box squad, and the three combined for 0-for-16 shooting against UNC and 0 points.
  4. Duke.  They are 10-3.  Impressive, until you dive into it.  They have been bottom feeding all year and have lost to all the good teams they have played.

The Hoos will have home-field advantage on Saturday and they will need every minute of it.  Here’s to hoping we send the Blue Devils and their gorilla back to Durham.

Hamilton Riley

About Hamilton Riley

Mild mannered contractor by day, sports blogger by insomnia.